Wairarapa News : January 11th 2012
25 WAIRARAPA NEWS, JANUARY 11, 2012 MOTORING Digital Edition Now On-line! FREE It's easy to register and it's free at www.wairarapanews.co.nz Read the latest • complete edition of the Wairarapa News online Read past issues • online The best in local news information how ever you want to receive it 3908784AA Ability radiates from rookie driver TALKING OTORSPORT KEVIN BALL MO Racing: HQ Holden racer Brent Cooper with his car. HQ Holden racing in New Zealand is about as close to a low-cost, one- design competition as it's possible to get. Strict controls ensure the cars are virtually identical, mean- ing driver ability is the key factor. So for a rookie race driver like Eketahuna businessman Brent Cooper, who first stepped into an HQ just nine months ago, his early climb to second in the hotly- contested series speaks much about his ability. Brent, who lives in Masterton with wife Tracey and family, but has owned Rowden Automotive in Eketahuna for seven years, is at a stage of his career where every meeting is part of a steep learning curve. So far he's raced at Manfeild, Taupo and Pukekohe ( scary in the wet''). At Taupo he got two thirds and a fifth. He got a second at Pukekohe and was leading another race when it was red- flagged. His next outing is Hamp- ton Downs, a circuit where for- tune favours the brave, in a month. He is fortunate to have the backing of BNT, the people behind New Zealand rally champions Richard and Sara Mason, of Masterton, and Ranchman's Pet Food, owned by his dad, Clive, who has attended every meeting so far. Dad's been a big help,'' says Brent. Brent's only other motorsport involvement has been running a Holden Torana (a car he still owns) at the drag races in Masterton. Tracey is a former Masterton Motoplex secretary. Drag racing, where much of the emphasis is on reaction time, probably helps Brent with HQ racing -- he's learned to get off the mark quickly. Reaction time is significant in another of Brent's activities. He's a volunteer fireman and being quick off the mark there is crucial too. Readers can learn all about the HQ class online at nzsix.co.nz. The overlying philosophy of Holden HQs, cars produced between 1971 and 1974, as spelled out on the website, is: To provide a low cost entry to a professionally organised motor race series that emphasises driver ability rather than purchased technical advantage. To provide a tool through which anyone wishing to enter, continue or re-enter motor sport, can do so at a very realistic cost. To regulate, through MotorSport NZ, the series to provide fair com- petition for all. To always keep regulations simple, straightforward and along the lines of it must remain stan- dard unless specifically stated otherwise''. To reject freedoms within the rules that would allow the class to become dollar orientated''. Coast's clear for old cars TALKING OTORSPORT KEVIN BALL MO Good vintage: John Pettigrew with the 1929 Pontiac he and wife Elaine drove. Sea-side: The lunch break at Emily Crofoot's beachside bach. Just visible is the tip of Castle Rock, seen from the south. Finding virgin territory is a big ask for organisers of outings for the Wairarapa branch of the Vintage Car Club. With up to a dozen runs a year, there are very few unfam- iliar roads left to explore. Club chairman Neville Taylor and his wife Beth, however, found something new on Saturday. The annual Coastal Run took 20-plus cars and more than 50 people out to Whareama and on to the private roads of Otahome Homestead and Castlepoint Station, where they stopped for lunch and were met by owners Anders and Emily Crofoot. Emily is a new member, having just restored the 1929 Model A truck purchased by her father, now in his 80s, when he was just 14 years old. The visitors had time for a stroll along the beach before continuing on to Castlepoint Beach and then Masterton. The cars were a mix of modern and vintage, with vehicles built up to 1981 quali- fying for VCC membership. The run began with a minute's silence for the victims of that morning's balloon crash and ended with a barbecue meal and noggin and natter in Carterton.
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